Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fabio Petroni and Gabe Owen at the Super Billiards Expo!

Billiards can be cruel sometimes! What's the worst thing you've ever done after blowing a crucial shot? Curse? Yell like there’s no more tomorrow? Throw your billiard cue? Break your pool stick? Kick the billiard table? Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure that it is nothing compared to what took place at the Super Billiards Expo (March 13-18, 2008) in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania! Read on!

Billiards Player Fabio Petroni
Italian pool player Fabio Petroni was playing against 2004 US Open Champion Gabe Owen in the very first match of the tournament - the Pro Event which has a full field of 64 players, double elimination 9-ball. During the match-up, Fabio Petroni did not like the way he hit a ball and proceeded to bang his head as hard as he could on the corner of the pool table! Blood began to gush out everywhere! Somebody yelled out to call the paramedics. Fabio was taken away to the hospital.

From Metallicane:

“As Gabe Owen is one one my favorite players, I was watching the match yesterday. Gabe was playing really well and Fabio had missed a few shots. With Gabe up 7-2, Fabio missed a 7 ball that he would make 99.9% of the time. He sat down and Gabe won that game, broke and was running out the next game. He got a little funny on the 7 which led to a little funny on the 8 and his sot at the 9 was now from the rail at a decent angle. Not a hanger by any stretch.

So I am watching and Fabio takes a knee by the corner pocket and I think he is going to give Gabe the game, but then he bangs his head into the corner of the table 4 times. I mean hard like a hammer. He then falls over next to the table and Gabe looks around and says, "this is the craziest thing I've ever seen", and proceeds to call for the referee. Fabio then stands up and is bleeding from the forehead. The ref comes over to clean him up asking for paramedics the entire time. Fabio was pushing him away telling him to get off. They finally calmed him down and when I left he was on the floor outside waiting for paramedics. He did not look good. He asked the ref (I am sorry I don't know his name because he is always there) to apologize to the fans for him. I truly hope he is okay and know, without a doubt, he regrets what he did. Bizarre!”

I guess the incident highlights a different side of pool that others may not realize, i.e., the importance of sponsorships and having an excellent state of mind and body. It is very difficult for billiard players to meet obligations with regards to finances and all when traveling around the world for competitions. After all, professional pool players travel internationally in pursuit of making a name for themselves in the sport. And it goes without saying that such takes a lot out of the pool players, both physically and mentally!

I have also come across reads and threads where railbirds and spectators are cruel to professional pool players! Some even look at professional billiard players as if they are the scum of the earth and make fun of them all day long. In other countries, professional pool players are given little or no respect at all for their talent and skill! Things are quite different here in my home country, the Philippines. Professional Filipino pool players, e.g., Efren Bata Reyes, aka The Magician, and Francisco Django Bustamante, are watched with awe and treated with respect and all. In fact, billiard players who are that good have the opportunity to gain sponsorships from some of the notable names in Philippine billiards, e.g., Puyat Sports, Bugsy Promotions, and Negros Billiard Stable. Stories such as the one above make us realize and count our blessings. And I kid you not!

YouTube video from InsidePoolMag

*some thoughts compiled from AZ and Matchroom

"The AnitoKid understands pool players!"

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